Cura Nutrition

Vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet. Regular intake of vegetables is associated with a lower risk of many serious diseases and they provide a wide range of nutritional benefits.

Unfortunately, eating too much of certain vegetables can also cause flatulence and other digestive issues like belly bloat, intestinal cramps and even diarrhoea.

If you are having problems with excessive flatulence that you think might be caused by vegetables, this article lists the 9 most likely veggie culprits and some simple suggestions to help avoid wind and bloating when you eat them.

  1. Beans

Hardly surprising given their reputation, beans are in the number one spot for vegetables that cause wind and bloating. Sometimes this happens later the same day, but more often you pay the price for eating them the next day.

Beans have a lot of soluble fibre, which while generally thought of as beneficial, can cause gastrointestinal problems for some people. The bigger issue when you eat beans though tends to be the carbohydrate called raffinose.

Beans of all kinds particularly soybeans, navy beans, black beans, lima beans and pinto beans, are exceptionally high in certain indigestible carbohydrates known as oligosaccharides. Raffinose is the most prevalent and worst of these oligosaccharides.

Raffinose cannot be broken down in your small intestine as humans lack the alpha-galactosidase enzyme required to break it down. So it passes through your GI tract completely undigested.

Once it reaches your large intestine though, the bacteria there thrive on it and ferment raffinose into large volumes of hydrogen, methane and other gases.

You can reduce the amount of raffinose in dried beans by soaking them overnight in water with a tablespoon of edible vinegar. Drain them before you cook them in fresh water.

A capsule of CuraZyme Ultra taken at the same time as high raffinose foods like beans and peas provides enzymes to break down oligosaccharides before they can cause bloating and flatulence.

  1. Peas, Lentils and Legumes

Like beans, peas contain very high levels of both indigestible oligosaccharides and soluble fibre, both of which are known to cause belly bloating and heavy flatulence.

Chickpeas, commonly used recipes like hummus, can be particularly bad for excessive flatulence and are well worth avoiding if you have an important meeting the next day.

Black-eyed peas and lentils are also very gassy legumes and will usually produce quite a bit of wind if used as a main ingredient in a meal.

What is interesting with peas, beans and other legumes is that eaten on their own they often cause large volumes of intestinal gas, but not generally a particularly offensive smell.

If you are having problems with lots of flatulence, but it is not especially smelly and you’ve been eating beans or peas, then they are almost certainly the culprit.

On the other hand, if offensive flatulence smell is the problem rather than the volume of wind, it is more likely to be one of the high sulphur veggies.

  1. Broccoli

Broccoli is an extremely healthy vegetable, recently identified to be full of anti-cancer compounds and well worth eating.

Like most cruciferous vegetables though, broccoli is also high in sulphur compounds and this is where bad flatulence problems with this veggie usually start.

A diet rich in sulphur can lead to flatulence with a higher percentage of hydrogen sulphide – the classic rotten egg smell that’s so effective at turning heads and clearing rooms.

Hydrogen sulphide is so potent that even a very small amount can result in foul smelling wind. Generally, the poorer your digestion the more chance of hydrogen sulphide building up in the colon.

Eating slowly and chewing broccoli thoroughly can help break it down before it reaches the lower intestine where gas producing bacteria reside.

Taking a full spectrum digestive enzyme can help dramatically reduce the level of hydrogen sulphide in your body by improving the intestinal environment.

Broccoli also contains a fair amount of fibre and raffinose, which no doubt contributes to its reputation for bad flatulence. That said, small amounts of broccoli shouldn’t be a problem for a healthy digestive system.

Most people find that if they start off with a smaller portion and slowly increase the amount of broccoli they eat in the coming weeks they can enjoy its many benefits without excess wind.

  1. Cabbage

Cabbage is another high sulphur food like broccoli that can cause some very bad smelling flatulence, particularly when eaten in large amounts.

Along with hydrogen sulphide, another sulphur-based compound observed to increase within your body when you eat foods like cabbage is methyl mercaptan. It has a distinctive rotten cabbage odour and just the smallest concentration in flatulence can be easily smelt.

While a very nutritious vegetable, cabbage is actually even more healthy when fermented as sauerkraut. In this form it is pre-digested by beneficial bacteria and there is much less chance of flatulence problems eating sauerkraut rather than regular cabbage.

  1. Brussels Sprouts

Closely related to cabbage, Brussels sprouts are notorious for causing wind. They contain both lots of raffinose and a high sulphur content.

Many people only eat Brussels sprouts on holiday occasions, like Christmas when they are already eating large amounts of food. This increases the chance of them not being digested properly and ending up in the lower intestine for bacterial fermentation.

Like cabbage and broccoli, smaller amounts of Brussels sprouts are very good for you and shouldn’t cause problems for a well-functioning digestive system. Large helpings of Brussels sprouts at a meal though are likely to make most people windy.

Try starting off with just a couple of sprouts mixed with other low gas vegetables, like courgette, bell pepper, carrots, tomatoes and leafy greens such as spinach and Swiss chard to avoid bloating with sprouts.

  1. Cauliflower

While not usually quite as bad for wind, cauliflower is still a cruciferous vegetable like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi or cabbage and has reasonably high levels of both sulphur compounds and oligosaccharides.

If you experience belly bloating and flatulence problems the next day after a meal with a lot of cauliflower, then it’s one of the most likely culprits.

Often you can build up your digestive tolerance of healthy cruciferous vegetables by starting with a small amount at first and slowly increasing the amount you eat over time.

Kale, arugula, watercress and bok choy are also cruciferous vegetables that can cause wind and bloating, but usually not at the same level as cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts or broccoli. Give these alternative options a try, if you want to enjoy the numerous benefits of these vegetables while minimising wind production,

  1. Onions, Garlic, Leeks and Shallots

Another set of vegetables that can cause gas and digestive problems are onions and the closely related garlic, leeks and shallots. These all contain high levels of fructans, such as inulin and fructo-oligosaccharides.

While considered a prebiotic (and usually great for the microbiome) the fructans in onions, leeks, shallots and garlic can cause gastrointestinal issues for many people, including bloating, excessive wind and even diarrhoea or trigger IBS symptoms.

Shallots, leeks, onions and especially garlic are also particularly high in sulphur compounds and can lead to some very smelly wind if eaten in excess. Eating parsley in the same meal as members of the onion family can help reduce both their gassiness and odour.

  1. Cucumbers

Burping is a common side effect of eating cucumbers. They are also known to cause indigestion, bloating and wind if eaten in large amounts.

Compounds called cucurbitacins found in the skin and particularly stems of these crunchy vegetables are a big part of why cucumbers make you windy. The higher the concentration of cucurbitacins in a cucumber the more bitter it will be, so bitterness is a good indicator of whether a cucumber will give you wind.

Cucumbers are also natural diuretics. This can be beneficial for losing extra water weight but if you are suffering from watery stools or diarrhoea it’s best to avoid eating large amounts of cucumber.

If you are worried about digestive problems from cucumbers, then peeling the skin off should help to stop these side effects.

  1. Sweet Corn / Corn-on-the-Cob

Sweet corn is hard to digest and for many people can cause bloating, intestinal cramps, excessive flatulence and even diarrhoea if consumed in large enough amounts.

High levels of indigestible cellulose in the kernels are primarily responsible for why corn causes wind and makes you bloated.

Though relatively high amounts of raffinose and fructose (they make high fructose corn syrup out of corn) also contribute to the way corn can make some people feel bloated and windy.

If you are suffering from stomach aches, poor digestion or regular bloating and wind then avoid corn for a while.

Alternatively, take a digestive enzyme capsule, like CuraZyme Ultra with sweetcorn, particular when eating corn-on-the-cob at a BBQ  or with other large and difficult to digest meals.

 Low Wind/Bloat Producing Vegetables

Some people will be particularly sensitive to those vegetables that have high levels of oligosaccharides, fructans or sulphur compounds. They may need to greatly reduce or even eliminate these kinds of food to avoid painful gastrointestinal problems.

For best results replace them with a mix of the following healthy low wind/bloat producing vegetables:

  • Zucchini
  • Tomatoes
  • Fennel
  • Carrots
  • Peeled cucumber
  • Steamed potatoes
  • Iceberg lettuce and the even healthier Romaine lettuce
  • Red and orange bell pepper (not unripe green peppers)
  • Parsley, coriander and other green herbs
  • Cooked spinach, Swiss chard and most other leafy greens
  • Butternut squash
  • Fresh peas and green beans do cause gas as well but usually not as much as dried beans or chickpeas
  • Bok choy, arugula and watercress are less gassy than other cruciferous vegetables

These veggies don’t commonly cause bad wind or bloating and you should be able to enjoy most of them without experiencing bloating and excessive flatulence the next day.


CuraZyme Ultra

CuraZyme™ Ultra is a potent enzyme formula with 13 specialised enzymes